12 Sep 2014

Matfield says Read is the key in All Blacks lineout

12:50 pm on 12 September 2014

The veteran South African lock Victor Matfield believes the All Blacks will miss Sam Whitelock, but he believes Kieran Read remains the key to the New Zealand lineout.

Springbok lock Victor Matfield

Springbok lock Victor Matfield Photo: PHOTOSPORT

37-year-old Matfield, who has played 114 Tests, retired after the 2011 World Cup, but returned to the game this year as a player-coach.

He'll lineup against the All Blacks Saturday night in Wellington, forming a formidable second row with Eben Etzebeth.

The All Blacks are starting Jeremy Thrush alongside Brodie Retallick with Whitelock out injured.

Matfield says Whitelock is a big loss, but with Read making all the calls, losing him as well would have made more of an impact.

Matfield says one of the reasons he came out of retirement was so he could continue to play the All Blacks.

The 37-year-old says he came out of retirement to play another World Cup and also play the big games like New Zealand.

Matfield played in the Springboks last win over the All Blacks in New Zealand, 5 years ago in Hamilton.

The South African rugby coach Heyneke Meyer has replaced first five Morne Steyn with Handre Pollard for the Springboks' Rugby Championship clash against the All Blacks in Wellington on Saturday.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The swap at number 10 is the only change from the matchday 23 that lost a cliff-hanger 24-23 to Australia in Perth last weekend.

Meyer says some may see it as a big call, but he doesn't.. he feels that if you want to beat the All Blacks you have to do something different.

Springbok first five Handre Pollard

Springbok first five Handre Pollard Photo: PHOTOSPORT

20-year-old Pollard, who captain South Africa at this years World Junior Championship, has played just 3 tests.

Meyer says he sees Pollard playing a big part in next year's World Cup.

Captain Jean de Villiers will celebrate his 100th test cap for South Africa at inside centre in the match at Wellington Stadium, joining centurions Victor Matfield (114), John Smit (111), Percy Montgomery (102) and Bryan Habana (100).

South Africa lie second in the four-nation southern hemisphere championship behind the All Blacks after three rounds but can leapfrog their opponents with victory in Wellington.

Team: 15-Willie le Roux; 14-Cornal Hendricks, 13-Jan Serfontein, 12-Jean de Villiers (captain), 11-Bryan Habana, 10-Handre Pollard, 9-Ruan Pienaar, 8-Duane Vermeulen, 7-Marcell Coetzee, 6-Francois Louw, 5-Victor Matfield, 4-Eben Etzebeth, 3-Jannie du Plessis, 2-Adriaan Strauss, 1-Tendai Mtawarira

Replacements: 16-Bismarck du Plessis, 17-Trevor Nyakane, 18-Marcel van der Merwe, 19-Lood de Jager, 20-Warren Whiteley, 21-Francois Hougaard, 22-Pat Lambie, 23-Damian de Allende.